One of my cake friends pointed out this blog article last week and said that people on facebook groups were going nuts screeching about how horrible the author was. In talking about why this was happening, we decided that facebook is like middle school.
No, not really, I decided that on my own, not that other people haven't thought the same thing, I'm sure. But we did decide that people are too quick to assume that other business owners are trying to "keep them down" and that they don't want to read. Because the article is pretty basic advice similar to what I've been saying for years. Nothing wrong with that.
(The one thing I disagree with is the don't copy things, because replicating designs make you faster, which means that you make more profit. That isn't bad. Other than that, I'm on board with what he's saying.)
I'm going to copy my comment summing up what I think is going on to make people offended: "I think what's going on now is that there are so many people opening under cottage baking laws, or just selling illegally, that the market is glutted. Since the market is glutted, people who have been in business longer are losing business to cheaper businesses. Since they're losing business, everyone starts whining on cake forums. Since everyone starts whining, people see themselves being complained about and get sensitive. Since they're sensitive, they're ready to attack anyone who suggest they're taking business from other people. And since cake people are so frickin' psychotic something minor blows up into something ridiculous."
Another baker also made the point that the majority of cake decorators have no clue about running a business, and that results in them losing focus of what running a business is for. The answer to that is that a business is to make money. A business isn't to give you something to do that you enjoy all the time, nothing is ever going to be all hearts and roses. A business exists to make money so that you can pay your bills.
Something that I hear a lot is that cake decorators have businesses because we love cakes so much. No, but that's why people whose hobby is cake decorating start a cake business and think that it will be lots of fun. Then they realize that the business of cakes takes far more of your time than the decorating of cakes, and it isn't fun anymore. Have you ever noticed that when decorators scale down their businesses it's always the cakes that go first? They might still be involved in the cake industry by teaching, writing, designing websites for supply sales, doing tutorials etc, but making and decorating cakes is usually the thing they cut from their schedule.
If you want to have fun with cakes then keep it as a hobby. There's no law that says you have to sell them, and there are plenty of studies that show that when you pay someone to do something they lose interest in that activity. It's a matter of extrinsic vs. intrinsic reward.
Anyway, back to the original point. My point is that if you think that people are trying to blacklist you and say that you're an undercutter, then maybe you secretly think that about yourself. Look at why you get so offended by this kind of thing and maybe adjust your attitude. The last part of the article talks about paying attention to yourself and not worrying about other people. Yes, do that.
If you're spending all your time on cake forums and in cake groups with people who post whines about undercutters and this and that and boo hoo, you're wasting time that you could be using to improve your business. Instead of taking time to spend in whiners groups, why don't you go read a Hubspot article about marketing, they have a lot of good advice. Or do searches for wedding trends so that you can design a couple of new display cakes. Turn off facebook and go to a networking meeting where you'll be talking to people in real life who might actually refer business to you.
Ignore the online rabble-rousing and pay attention to your local market. While everyone else is getting worked up and complaining to each other, you could be improving your bottom line by paying attention to your business. That's where your income comes form, not from facebook groups made up of people who will never buy a cake from you.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com